Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news 19 January 2020

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MSC CHLOE at Durban. Pictures: Keith Betts, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

MSC CHLOE at Durban. Pictures: Keith Betts, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

MSC CHLOE at Durban. Pictures: Keith Betts, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
MSC CHLOE. Pictures: Keith Betts

On 1 January this year the IMO 2020 regulations regarding exhaust emissions by ships internationally came into effect. Although many countries, South Africa included, have yet to pass legislation making it possible for port and state authorities to enforce the new regulation, which requires sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions to be lowered to 0.5% or less, many of the shipping companies, owners and operators alike have begun taking steps to comply. One of these is Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) which has begun a programme of retrofitting hybrid scrubbing devices to remove or lower SOx from ships’ exhausts. While we have discussed this on several occasions it still came as a bit of a shock when we saw the first example of a scrubber-fitted vessel arriving in the port of Durban. The size of the equipment is obvious from these three photographs, taken by photographer Keith Betts. The first two show MSC CHLOE (IMO 9720483) arriving in the port in December 2019, following the fitment of scrubber equipment to the vessel. The lower picture is from an earlier visit and prior to the fitment having taken place. Note the difference in size of the stack, which must also have a detrimental effect on container capacity. Nor does it do much for the general appearance of the 110,442-dwt, 9400-TEU ship.  Pictures are by Keith Betts



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Confirmation from Met Office, NASA and NOAA

Image: UK Met Office, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS

The annual global temperature figures for 2019 confirm that the past decade was the warmest on record.

The data also show that the past five years were the warmest in the 170-year series.

The balance of evidence using multiple data sets suggests that 2019, a year without a strong classical El Niño, is the second warmest year for annual global temperatures in records that begin in 1850. Only 2016 has been warmer, a year when temperature was boosted by a significant El Niño.

Scientists at the Met Office Hadley Centre, the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit and the UK National Centre for Atmospheric Science produce the HadCRUT4 dataset, which is used to estimate global temperature.

The HadCRUT4 global temperature series shows that the average for 2019 as a whole was 1.05±0.1 °C above pre-industrial levels, taken as the average over the period 1850-1900. 2019 is nominally the third warmest year in the HadCRUT4 series. These facts were reported by the (UK) Met Office on 15 January.

Images: UK Met Office, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Images: UK Met Office

US data used

NASA and NOAA have also published their global mean temperature estimates for 2019. All three datasets (NASA, NOAA and HadCRUT4) agree that the last five years were the warmest five years since each global record began. NASA and NOAA have positioned 2019 as the second warmest year in their records.

Differences between the various estimates arise largely from the way that the data-sparse polar regions are handled. Taking the evidence from the three records, together with other estimates from reanalyses, suggests that 2019 was most likely the second warmest year.

Dr Colin Morice of the Met Office Hadley Centre said: “Our collective global temperature figures agree that 2019 joins the other years from 2015 as the five warmest years on record. Each decade from the 1980s has been successively warmer than all the decades that came before. 2019 concludes the warmest ‘cardinal’ decade (those spanning years ending 0-9) in records that stretch back to the mid-19th century.”

Dr Morice concluded: “While we expect global mean temperatures to continue to rise in general, we don’t expect to see year-on-year increases because of the influence of natural variability in the climate system.”

On a more regional level, this confirmation follows close on the heels of the recent Met Office announcement that the 2010s have been the second warmest of the cardinal decades over the last 100 years of UK weather records.


The Bureau of Meteorology in Australia has also recently confirmed that 2019 was the warmest and driest year on record in Australia. 2019 was also one of the warmest years on record for Europe, including a record-breaking summer heatwave.

The HadCRUT4 global temperature dataset is compiled from many millions of air and sea surface temperature measurements taken across the globe, from all continents and all oceans. The regional variations in temperature are themselves informative in understanding the mechanisms that cause warming in response to the continuing build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Prof Tim Osborn, Director of Research at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit, said: “While we know that human activities are causing the globe to warm, it is important to measure this warming as accurately as possible. We are confident that the world has warmed by about 1.0 °C since the late nineteenth century because different methods of working out the global temperature give very similar results.”

Forecast for 2020

The Met Office recently released its forecast for global average temperature for 2020. This forecasts the global average temperature for 2020 to be between 0.99 °C and 1.23 °C – with a central estimate of 1.11 °C – above the pre-industrial average period from 1850–1900, and likely extending the recent run of hottest years unless an unpredictable event such as a large volcanic eruption occurs.

The main contributor to warming over the last 170 years is human influence on climate from increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The effects of human-induced climate change are not limited to surface temperature. Warming of the climate system is seen across a range of climate indicators that build a holistic picture of change outside of our expectations from natural variability across the land, atmosphere, oceans and ice.

Table 1: Global average temperatures relative to the pre-industrial period 1850-1900

2019 1.05
2018 0.91
2017 0.99
2016 1.11
2015 1.08
2014 0.89
2013 0.83
2012 0.79
2011 0.74
2010 0.87

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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Gambia Navy officer training with officer of the US Coast Guard. Public domain photograph from, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Gambia Navy officer training with officer of the US Coast Guard duringan earlier trainingsession in te Gulf of Guinea. Public domain photograph from


The Gambian Navy together with Sea Shepherd has intercepted another fishing trawler in Gambian waters, reports Foroyaa newspaper.

The report quoted Major Lamin K Sanyang, the Gambia’s army spokesperson as saying that the Gambian Navy and Sea Shepherd had on 14 January 2020 intercepted and detained the trawler ATLANTIDE 1 which was found fishing within Gambian territorial waters.

He said the trawler was being held…


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According to Ngqura pilot Sandile Gebashe, the highlight of his career has been obtaining his Open License as Marine Pilot last year.

This sought-after qualification enabled him to dock the biggest vessel to visit the Port of Ngqura, the MSC ELISA (141,344-dwt, 366m length), on the day that he obtained his open license. That’s when he became the Port of Ngqura’s third open license holder, with this scarce skill. The port’s ultimate goal is to have five open license pilots.

Sandile Gebashe, Port of Ngqura Open Pilot, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Sandile Gebashe

“This is a huge pride in my development. The job of a ship’s navigator is not just any kind of job – it is an art. I believe that I match this art perfectly with my sharp eye and good ear to analyse a situation, make quick decisions, judge distances and pay attention to detail,” he says.

“The maritime career is a very challenging career, as the sea is a dangerous environment to work in. You need the right people for this job because a lot is at stake such as safety of life, efficient and safe navigation as well as the safety of the environment. Learning never stops as the maritime industry is continuously improving.”

He said his responsibilities include among others shifting vessels within the port, safely navigating vessels in and out of the harbour and assisting the Harbour Master with controlling the movement of vessels within port limits and anchorages.

He describes his life as a series of scary challenges, which he has overcome with resilience. “The first day that I joined a ship was also my first job, my first aeroplane flight and my first visit to Cape Town. This was also the day that I nearly lost my life on board the ship! I lost my mother, two brothers and sister while I was away at sea. Challenges on a day-to-day basis include proper communication, poor planning and strong winds.”

He said his ultimate satisfaction came from realising that he had made the right decision of furthering his studies after passing the second semester at university – “not forgetting that days passed without food on my table.”

Another highlight was obtaining his Deck Officer Certificate of Competency and safely handling an incident in January 2013. The ship MSC Luciana broke loose in the Port of Ngqura due to strong winds. “I had to steer the tug to safety to evacuate staff before the tug could possibly be squashed by the big vessel,” he remembers.

Pilot Sandile Gebashe regards a pilot as a critical position in the port. “I challenge myself to be as efficient as possible when serving our customers in due time.”

Raised in Umzimkulu in rural KwaZulu-Natal, Gebashe obtained a Diploma in Travel and Tourism, a National Technical Certificate in Mechanical and Marine Engineering and he is currently finalising the last module of a Diploma in Maritime Studies with the Durban University of Technology.

He started his seagoing career in 2002 with Unicorn Shipping and gained further experience in various positions in TNPA (Ports of East London, PE and Cape Town), Safmarine and Maersk Line before joining the Port of Ngqura as Tugmaster in 2012. He also spent time in the Netherlands on training.

“I strongly believe that I can achieve my dreams. I am a quality obsessed and results-driven person. I seek knowledge and wisdom, I read books and do research on matters that interest me. I am a father of three beautiful children and love spending time with them. After all, when you do the job that you love, you will never work a day in your life!”

Featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS

Open License

An open license means a Marine Pilot is no longer restricted to handle a certain size of vessel – they can bring any vessel to the port. It takes a few years from obtaining the first licence to an open license, as there are a few licenses between the two. Marine Pilots are trained to eventually have an open license – it is regarded as their final destination and quite a milestone.


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Map of Djibouti showing railway connection to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Map of Djibouti showing railway connection to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia


The Port of Djibouti in the Gulf of Aden near the southern entrance to the Red Sea is looking to develop a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal that was previously postponed.

This is the result of an agreement to build a 700km pipeline through which gas feedstock can be imported from Ethiopia.

The December 2019 agreement…


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MSC Orchestra on her berth at the Port of Walvis Bay's new cruise jetty - featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritimenews
MSC Orchestra on her berth at the Port of Walvis Bay’s new cruise jetty


The Namibian Ports Authority on Tuesday rolled out its red carpet to 3,100 guests who disembarked from the MSC ORCHESTRA when the ship docked at the port’s passenger berth 9. This was MSC Orchestra’s maiden call to the Port of Walvis Bay.

The holiday makers who embarked on a six day cruise from Cape Town to Walvis Bay and returning to South Africa conveyed how happy and impressed they were with the welcoming spirit displayed by the Namport staff members who were stationed at the welcoming table.

The 293.8 metre long ship of 92,409 gross tons was…


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Rift Valley Railways, but not as the KRC would like to see repeated - featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Rift Valley Railways, but not as the KRC would like to see repeated

After having served as acting managing director of Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) since 2018, Phillip Jamuhuri Mainga has been confirmed in the job for a contract period of three years, thus ending a long period of uncertainty.

Mainga’s appointment as acting MD followed the suspension of the previous occupant, Atanas Maina, who faced allegations…


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Ocean Africa Container Line's Border arriving in Nacala, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Ocean Africa Container Line’s Border arriving in Nacala. Border operated a coastal service out of Durban, with Nacala the line’s most northerly regular port of call


The Northern Development Corridor (CDN) reports that Nacala Port’s miscellaneous cargo handling reached 2.2 million tonnes in 2019*, up 16% on the 1.9 million tonnes of the previous year.

In a statement issued by the company managing the port, the increase was attributed to investment in human and technical resources, as well as the acquisition of new equipment.

“The port was able to reach the budget planned for 2019 and surpass the production realized in 2018,” the document reads.

The CDN’s 15-year Nacala Port concession ended on Friday (10th January). The company announced last December that it would focus on rail transport going forward, particularly on shipping coal from Tete to the port of Nacala, and developing the general cargo business.

A new 30-year North Corridor Rail concession was expected to come into force on the same day.

Coal mining by Brazilian mining company Vale in the Tete region has made it possible to build the 912-kilometre railway, including a 200-kilometre stretch crossing Malawi, and a deepwater port terminal in Nacala.

The Northern Development Corridor is a public limited company incorporated and registered in Mozambique, whose purpose is the integrated management, rehabilitation and commercial operation of the infrastructure of the port of Nacala and the northern rail network of the country.

CDN’s main objective is to provide high quality rail and port services, and efficiency and safety in the company’s infrastructure and concessions, effectively serving the national and regional markets.

New challenges are driving modernisation of the entire infrastructure, as well as new management models designed to ensure service improvement, competitiveness and sustainability.

The ultimate goal is to improve rail and port traffic by expanding and modernising the existing fleet, paying particular attention to operational safety issues concerning employees, passengers and equipment. source: O País

* This figure excludes the bulk coal and other bulk products exported via Nacala at Nacala-a-Velha.


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French frigate FS Courbet F712. Picture: Wikipedia, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
French frigate FS Courbet F712.   Picture: Wikipedia


Acting in support of Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150), the French naval ship FS COURBET F712 on Sunday, 5 January, discovered a contraband cargo of 1,500kg of hashish on board a dhow sailing in the Arabian Sea.

This was FS Courbet’s second successful ‘haul’ in a period of 30 days.

Using their shipborne helicopter, FS COURBET detected the suspicious vessel and dispatched a boarding team to conduct a search. The team was able to uncover 1,500 kg of hashish hidden among unused fishing gear.

The estimated regional wholesale value of these narcotics is US$780,000. The retail value of this shipment, had it reached Africa or Europe, is many times higher.

FS Courbet's first drug haul made in December 2019, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
FS Courbet’s first drug haul made in December 2019

“To the terrorists who profit from the drug trade in this region, the loss of this shipment and two others in the last 30 days, represents a considerable hit to their funding,” said Commodore Ray Leggatt, Royal Australian Navy, the Commander of CTF 150.

“CTF 150 will continue to apply pressure with the help of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) participating nations and ships like FS COURBET. The crew of FS COURBET has been outstanding every time they have supported CTF 150 and we thank them for another job well done,” he said.

With the Australian Navy currently in charge, CTF 150’s staff is made up of personnel from the Royal Australian, Royal Canadian, and Royal New Zealand navies. The group’s mission is to disrupt terrorist organisations and their related illegal activities by restricting their freedom of manoeuvre in the maritime domain.

The activities of CTF 150 are a critical part of global counter-terrorism efforts, as terrorist organisations are denied a risk-free method of conducting operations or moving personnel, weapons or income-generating narcotics and charcoal.

The cooperation and support of CMF participating nations including France is a key mission enabler.

The 33 nations of CMF work together with regional and other partners to improve overall security and stability in the Gulf, help strengthen regional nations’ maritime capabilities, and when requested, respond to environmental and humanitarian crises. This counter narcotics operation is just the latest example of cooperation in action.


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WUF10 banner displayed in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news


The AIVP 2030 Agenda for sustainable port cities will be discussed at the highest political level during the World Urban Forum, organised by the UN in Abu Dhabi in February 2020.

AIVP will be attending the next World Urban Forum, organised by UN Habitat, to debate sustainable port cities and their role in global strategies for sustainable development.

Between 8 and 13 February 2020, more than 20,000 stakeholders, experts and academics will participate in the 10th edition of the World Urban Forum. This is the biggest global conference focused on urban development planning and management, organised by the Human Settlements Programme of the United Nations (UN-Habitat).

AIVP will arrange a side event, presenting the AIVP 2030 Agenda as the main tool for engaging key stakeholders contributing to sustainable port cities. The ten commitments laid out in AIVP’s document, and its 46 specific actions, adapt the 17 Sustainable Development Goals specifically for the Port-City relationship, outlining tangible global aims for a more sustainable world.

At the same event, AIVP and UN-Habitat will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), agreeing to work together on the further development of the AIVP 2030 Agenda, defining concrete actions and working to identify the problems affecting port cities.

The ten goals of the AIVP 2030 Agenda focus on innovation around issues such as the energy transition, mobility, culture, governance, human capital, adapting to climate change, and protecting biodiversity.

Port city stakeholders, including port authorities, municipalities, companies and citizens’ associations, are encouraged to work towards these goals wherever possible, by incorporating them into their development plans and projects.

More specifically, the side event entitled ‘Port cities as proxies for global sustainable development: the AIVP 2030 Agenda’ will involve five experts and high-level representatives from port cities around the world. The speakers will highlight the importance of Port – City relations for the New Urban Agenda and sustainable development, and the role of AIVP in guiding port city leaders towards more sustainable Port – City relationships.

At the end, the audience will be invited to take part in the debate, and the session will conclude with the signing of the MoU between AIVP and UN-Habitat.

This event marks the beginning of a new stage for AIVP as world leading organization for port cities. The long-term goal, besides contributing to the global sustainable development agenda, is to raise awareness among national governments and international organisations about the importance of port cities as crucial nodes for global supply chains and coastal urbanisation.

Port-City issues need to be given greater visibility, in order to enlist institutional and economic support for key sustainable development projects. The MoU with UN-Habitat is a powerful symbol of AIVP’s renewed political commitment to defending the interests of its members in global arenas, for sustainable port cities. AIVP invites all port cities to join its delegation, and to make their voices heard at the highest level.

About the Worldwide Network of Port Cities (AIVP):
AIVP is the only international organisation that has been bringing together public and private stakeholders in the development of port cities for more than 30 years: elected representatives of local maritime and river authorities, port authorities, urban and port operators, companies, universities and research institutes.
Based in Le Havre (France), AIVP supports its 180 members in the implementation of innovative strategies enabling them to anticipate and face the changes that impact the economic, social and environmental development of port cities: urban-port integration, global reorganisation of economic circuits, the challenge of societal integration, climate change, the energy transition, cruise market dynamics, etc.


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The 13,100-TEU MSC Renee about to come alongside of berth 2 at the new Tema MPS 3 terminal in Ghana, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The 13,100-TEU MSC Renee about to come alongside of berth 2 at the new Tema MPS 3 terminal in Ghana.   Picture courtesy MPS


Following the launching of two of the four Tema MPS Terminal 3 berths in July 2019, the MPS Terminal 3 has prompted several changes in the West African maritime industry where some of the shipping lines quickly deployed ships with capacities of 8,000 TEUs (Post Panamax II).

As a result, MPS Terminal 3 is becoming the…


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Seven months ahead of schedule

Tema MPS 3 terminal layout, with the 13,000-TEU MSC Renee just alongside of berth 2. Picture courtesy MPS, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Tema MPS 3 terminal layout, with the 13,000-TEU MSC Renee just alongside of berth 2. Picture courtesy MPS


Since the successful opening of the new MPS Terminal 3 at Tema Port in June last year the project has continued to perform ahead of its deadline.

This saw the project team handing over during late November of another part of Terminal 3, the third new berth (220m of the 300m quay wall). Phase 1 consisted of 700 metres of quay wall, which provided for the first two new berths.

This new stretch of waterfront was delivered 7 months ahead of the scheduled completion in June 2020. With this achievement the terminal now consists of…

Short video on the opening of berth 3 [1:44]


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Kenyan SGR container train operating between Mombasa and Nairobi, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Kenyan SGR container train operating between Mombasa and Nairobi


With the Kenya government increasing its support for the standard gauge railway between the port of Mombasa and Nairobi, which has now been extended as far as Naivasha, the Kenya road transport industry faces having to reinvent itself.

For years the road haulers in Kenya have enjoyed the majority of trade coming from the port and destined either for Nairobi of for landlocked countries bordering or near Kenya – Uganda, South Sudan and Rwanda.

With the advent of the standard gauge railway (SGR), built by Chinese contractors and financed with Chinese bank loans, the Kenya government began introducing controversial quotas in an…


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SADC banner featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS


News of the intended funding injection towards the country’s maritime risk management capabilities (see report HERE) coincided with confirmation of a Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states’ five day conference to be held in South Africa next month (February 2020).

Its aim, the statement said, would be to…


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Fate of foreign crew stranded in SA remains unclear

A Helping Hand: A SAMSA official hands over food items and related material to six crew members of a stranded vessel that entered South African sea waters and anchored off the port of Cape Town without permission a month ago. The vessel believed to be of Asian origin has since been quarantined and detained at the port of Cape Town pending resolution of its law transgressions since entering the country’s waters illegally. Picture: SAMSA, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
A Helping Hand: A SAMSA official hands over food items and related material to six crew members of a stranded vessel that entered South African sea waters and anchored off the port of Cape Town without permission a month ago. The vessel believed to be of Asian origin has since been quarantined and detained at the port of Cape Town pending resolution of its law transgressions since entering the country’s waters illegally. Pictures courtesy: SAMSA


The fate of six stranded Asian sailors found in a desperate situation in a poor-condition vessel off the port of Cape Town in November may remain uncertain, but their safety and general well-being going forward is ensured.

This is thanks to the timely intervention and assistance of the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA).

According to SAMSA, part of whose mandate is to ensure the safety of property and life at sea, the drama involving the six foreign sailors – two from Taiwan and four others from Myanmar, and some of whom now face possible legal sanction – unfolded after SAMSA officials were alerted by the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) and the Department of Environment, Fisheries and Forestry (DEFF) about a drifting, fuel-less and permit-less vessel spotted at sea. This was off the port of Cape Town on 2 December 2019.

Four of the six crew of the Yong Qing Fa No.666 are currently believed to have been abandoned by their employer and remain on board the crippled vessel in the port of Cape Town. This was after it was detained following its unauthorised entry and anchorage in SA waters, and a subsequent C188 inspection that found it unseaworthy.

Captain Pierre Schutz, a deputy Principal Officer at SAMSA’s western region Cape Town office, recounted this week how the agency’s officers scrambled to the rescue of the foreign seafarers to ensure primarily their safety and general welfare. This was while their sea sailing troubles including legal issues were being interrogated for a possible resolution.

The legal woes facing both the owners and crew of the now quarantined fishing vessel, flag state unknown, include the vessel’s unauthorised entry into South African sea waters, the absence on board of necessary documentation including certificates of nationality, tonnage, drawing plans, crew list, Voyage Management System (VMS) transmitting, and a disconnected Automatic Identification System (AIS).

On entering South African waters without permission and dropping anchor near Cape Town harbour without authorisation on 30 November 2019 – due to apparent desperation for bunkers – the six member crew on board reportedly also initially failed to communicate their plight with local authorities, mainly due to language difficulties. This was until the Taiwanese Fisheries agency in South Africa became involved, almost a week later.

According to SAMSA and based on TNPA reports, the vessel entered the country’s waters and went to anchor near the port of Cape Town without following any protocols and maintaining complete radio silence, which is considered something unusual and illegal.

It had since emerged that the six crew members and their poorly maintained vessel have been abandoned by the owner, with four of the crew members not having been paid their wages.

According to SAMSA the two Taiwanese seafarers have since been charged with certain law transgressions and are due to reappear in a Cape Town magistrate’s court on 27 January 2020.

According to Captain Schutz, SAMSA was drawn to the plight of the crew after the respective authorities, including TNPA, DEFF and others, all bound by relevant legislation and protocols, were initially reluctant and refused it entry into a South African port without standard procedures having been fully observed.

These included a 21 day offshore containment period to determine whether the vessel and crew carried any communicable diseases such as – in this case – Ebola, as the vessel had reportedly sailed from a West African region where the disease is said to be rife.

He says that 12 days after the drama ensued, with engagements ongoing among respective authorities, SAMSA appealed to the TNPA, DEFF and others to allow an inspection of the vessel and crew in order to facilitate provision of basic essentials to the crew, such as food and water. Crucially, this was also to ensure the safety of the vessel given its unauthorised anchorage which could prove hazardous to other sailing vessels in the vicinity if left unattended for too long.

By 13 December 2019, according to Captain Schutz, the vessel was allocated a berth in an isolated area of the port following which nutrition was taken on board for the vessels’ crew while a variety of inspections were conducted.

He confirmed that a SAMSA inspection in terms of local and international legal instruments including the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) C188 – Work in Fishing Convention, 2007 (No. 188) found the vessel to be not seaworthy and it was officially detained, while a DEFF inspection led to the arrest of the vessel’s skipper and his subsequent appearances in court.

As of last week, according to Captain Schutz, the vessel still had no power and it still had no local agent appointed to attend to its needs as required by law. Meanwhile Taiwanese authorities in South Africa were also not taking responsibility for a majority of the crew members on board the vessel while DEFF officials’ efforts to seek assistance from the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) had proved fruitless so far.

“The SAMSA (Cape Town office) is liaising with DEFF in terms of the court appearance of two of the seafarers. It is also liaising with the local Apostleship of the Seas in terms of welfare and food. Currently also, SAMSA is supplying food while awaiting for the court appearance,” Schutz said.

Regarding the detention of the vessel, Captain Schutz says its release will be conditional on the owners carrying out the necessary repairs.

“Once so advised, SAMSA would conduct another inspection, and if the vessel is found in good condition, the vessel would be released from detention. There is no time frame attached to this,” he said, save for a range of port charges it will incur, accruing to the TNPA, for its safekeeping at a South African port, and which could escalate depending on how long it takes to repair it.

Once all these matters are finalised the vessel’s crew can be repatriated but the responsibility lies with the owners, said Schutz. “There has been no final decision in this regard.”



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Mombasa's second container terminal, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Mombasa’s second container terminal


Kenya’s main port of Mombasa has recorded 1,425,000 container TEUs handled during 2019, an increase of 7.3% on the year previous and ahead of the target set for the port to achieve.

Kenya maintains its position in sub-Saharan Africa behind Durban as the second busiest container port (although if the Lagos ports of Apapa and Tin Can Island container terminals were combined that statistic might have to change).

As with the leading sub-Saharan port of Durban, Mombasa is not just about…


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Doraleh Container Terminal, Djibouti, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Doraleh Container Terminal, Djibouti


Ruling by Tribunal says Djibouti acted illegally

DP World has won a further legal hearing against the Government of Djibouti over the Doraleh Container Terminal. A Tribunal of the London Court of International Arbitration ordered Djibouti to restore the rights and benefits under the 2006 Concession Agreement to DP World and Doraleh Container Terminal SA within two months, or pay damages.

An independent expert has estimated the losses to DP World at…


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More than 71 million tonnes of goods transshipped

Bulk cargo at North Sea Port, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news


Early in January North Sea Port posted a record year for the third year in succession. It was reported that the firms based in the port transshipped 71.4 million tonnes of seaborne cargo, an increase of 1.5%. The growth is mainly due to dry bulk and containers. (Our illustration kindly provided by North Sea Port shows bulk trade handling.)

Moreover, the figure of 71.4 million tonnes means North Sea Port has broken the 70 million tonne barrier for the second time. This rise is primarily down to a growth in exports for the third consecutive year (+9.9%). Two years after its launch as a merged port, North Sea Port is maintaining its position as…

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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The Mombasa Gate Bridge will make redundant the ferry service linking Mombasa Island with the mainland, as seen here with the Likoni ferry, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The Mombasa Gate Bridge will make redundant the ferry service linking Mombasa Island with the mainland, as seen here with the Likoni ferry


The African Development Bank (AfDB) and other international lenders including the EU and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have made available loans totalling €764 million (US$837.6m) that will be used to build transport infrastructure linking Kenya and Tanzania.

The AfDB alone has made €345 million available for the project, it was announced during December 2019. The AfDB loan will…


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Port of Nouakchott, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Port of Nouakchott


The sum of US$390 million has been made available to modernise the Mauritanian port of Nouakchott making use of the public private partnership (PPP) method.

The money has been made available from the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) together with several other sponsors.

The Public Private Partnership law only came into effect in Mauritania as recently as 2017 and the port modernisation project is reported to be the first to make use of this.

The company handling the project is Arise Mauritania which received…

Tugs in the port of Nouakchott, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Tugs in the port of Nouakchott



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A new daily rail service has been introduced from Hutchison Ports Port of Felixstowe to Maritime Transport’s newly opened East Midlands Gateway, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
A new daily rail service has been introduced from Hutchison Ports Port of Felixstowe to Maritime Transport’s newly opened East Midlands Gateway


A new daily rail service has been introduced at Hutchison Ports Port of Felixstowe on England’s East Coast. The new connection, the 36th daily rail service from the UK’s largest container port, runs to Maritime Transport’s newly opened East Midlands Gateway.

This new service caters for ever-growing demand for rail at Felixstowe and follows hot on the heels of two new rail services to…

Reported by Paul Ridgway


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Aim is to increase knowledge and transfer of skills in support of local industry development

Damen Technical Seminar held in Nigeria and featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news


Following the success of the Technical Seminars that it introduced in Nigeria in 2019, Damen Shipyards Group will this year hold another series of events, the Dutch shipbuilder has announced.

With the three-day long, intensive training events, Damen aims to provide its clients in the region with a better understanding of their vessels, with the goal, ultimately of optimising their efficiency of operations. However, the value of the seminars is clear and Damen now sees them as a potential vehicle for the transfer of skills and knowledge that could help develop the country’s own maritime and energy services industries.

During 2019, alongside on-board familiarisation and basic maintenance training provided for almost all vessels delivered to Nigeria, Damen held three Technical Seminars in Nigeria. At each of the events, a Damen supplier was invited to present technical information and practical assignments to delegates regarding their contribution to Damen’s vessels.

Damen Technical Seminar held in Nigeria and featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Last year, Damen was supported in the delivery of the Training Seminars by Caterpillar, Alphatron and GEA Westfalia. Participants gained insights into their vessels that facilitated a greater level of trouble shooting and problem-solving and maintenance skills – optimising operation and minimising downtime and, therefore, the costs of operation.

This year, the Technical Seminars will feature Heinen and Hopman (17-19 March), presenting on their ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. This seminar will be followed by further events with Caterpillar (23-25 June) and Alphatron (13-15 October). The seminars will be held, as previously, at the Nestoil Training Centre in Port Harcourt, itself built by Damen.

“We have seen how successful these events have been in transmitting knowledge and skills and enabling participants to share their own insights,” a Damen representative said. “Participants can also raise their very specific questions and discuss detailed technical subjects directly with the suppliers,” he added.

“As a result of this, we are broadening our aims with the seminars we will deliver in the future. Going forward, we will use the seminars as a platform to facilitate knowledge and skills transfer to the vessel owners and operators in order to play our part in the development of sustainable Nigerian maritime services and oil & gas industries that will be of benefit to the country and region.

“As we have done in other areas in which we operate, Damen is seeking, in alignment with Nigeria’s own local content goals, to maximise Nigerian participation in its own marine services and energy industries.”

Damen Technical Seminar held in Nigeria and featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news



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New port of Lamu under construction, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
New port of Lamu under construction


Construction work at Kenya’s new port of Lamu, where the first berth has been commissioned, came to a sudden halt a week ago when terrorists, believed to be from the al-Shabaab movement in nearby Somalia, attacked an overran a US/Kenyan military base.

The port of Lamu is a short distance from the Somalia border. On 5 January it was…


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Powered by GE’s propulsion technology

HMS Prince of Wales sailed into her homeport of Portsmouth for the first time on 16 November last – marking a significant milestone in the Royal Navy’s aircraft carrier history. Photo: MoD Crown Copyright 2019 ©, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
HMS Prince of Wales sailed into her homeport of Portsmouth for the first time on 16 November last – marking a significant milestone in the Royal Navy’s aircraft carrier history. Photo: MoD Crown Copyright 2019 ©


GE’s Marine Power Test Facility is the world’s only commercial, land-based facility capable of full-scale testing of integrated electric propulsion systems

We were privileged to carry news last year of the sea trials of HMS Prince of Wales and her commissioning. SEE HERE. With HMS Queen Elizabeth the class is the largest ever built for the Royal Navy. These huge warships are powered by GE’s energy-efficient, integrated full-electric propulsion system.

As part of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, GE’s Power Conversion business has provided the HV Distribution system, HV Drives and Propulsion Motors as well as the Electrical Power Control and Management system. GE also supplied the HV Generators to support generating power for the entire carrier.

Out of the 110 megawatts (MW) of power running through the system, 80 MW can be dedicated to GE’s energy-efficient electric propulsion to put way on the 65,000 ton carriers. For the layman that is the equivalent electricity needs to power around 5,000 homes in the UK.

The Aircraft Carrier Alliance is a unique partnership between BAE Systems, the Ministry of Defence, Thales, and Babcock. Working together, the Alliance’s collective culture is one of an uncompromising commitment to trust, collaboration, innovation, and mutual support with all decisions taken on a best for programme basis, it is reported.

For almost three decades, GE has supported the Royal Navy with world-class technology. Today, the UK Royal Navy has more than 90% of its major ships operating with GE’s electric propulsion solutions, including HMS Queen Elizabeth, as well as the Type 45 destroyers, the new Type 26 frigates and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s Tide Class tankers.

GE is uniquely positioned to work alongside shipyards and world navies due to its extensive experience and capabilities. With a large scope of electrical and electronic equipment, GE is able to carry out the important architecture work, system integration and power management for its naval clients.

Moreover, GE’s Marine Power Test Facility at Whetstone, England, is said to be the world’s only commercial, land-based facility capable of full-scale testing of integrated electric propulsion systems for naval application. For many years it has supported the world’s navies to perfect the technology of current and future electric ship projects.

To quote Andy Cooper, managing director of GE’s Power Conversion business UK: “Our contribution to the UK Royal Navy has been extensive, supporting so many diverse naval ship classes. As the programme for the second carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, nears completion, another important milestone has been achieved through the successful sea trial. Congratulations to the whole team – we are proud to serve the UK Royal Navy to deliver the operational readiness and confidence modern navies demand.”

In addition, GE has provided systems for both aircraft carriers’ shore-based power supplies having recently installed and commissioned the motor and generator sets in Portsmouth. The large generator has a 16MW power rating, providing electricity for essential services when the carriers are berthed in HM Naval Base, their home port.

GE’s Advanced Induction Motors (AIM) in HMS Prince of Wales. Photo: GE Power ©, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
GE’s Advanced Induction Motors (AIM) in HMS Prince of Wales. Photo: GE Power ©

About GE

For more information readers are invited to visit: and to follow GE Power on Twitter and on LinkedIn.

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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MSC Ravenna arriving in Durban on Christmas Day, 25 December 2019, the biggest ever container ship to enter a South Africa port. Picture by Trevor Steenkamp Photography, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
MSC Ravenna arriving in Durban in the early morning sunshine of Christmas Day, 25 December 2019, at 14,694 TEU capacity the biggest ever container ship to enter a South African port. Picture by Trevor Steenkamp Nautical Images

Port statistics for the month of December 2019, covering the eight commercial ports under the administration of Transnet National Ports Authority, are now available.

Details of the port throughputs, ships berthed and containers numbers handled can be seen in the Tables below.

Statistics involving motor vehicles are also included, per port and measured in vehicle units. These include imports and exports and earth-moving and other ro-ro vehicles.

Total cargo handled for the month of December amounted to…


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Short video [1:05] of the Port of Luanda, Portuguese with English sub-titles
On 16 December 2019 the Angolan Government launched an international public tender for the granting of a concession to operate and develop the Port of Luanda Multi-Purpose Terminal.

The principal objective is the promote the development and improvement of port efficiency through the involvement of private operators with proven experience in the sector.

Luanda multi-purpose terminal, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Luanda multi-purpose terminal

The statement says that the public tender is directed to companies or associations of domestic and foreign companies that have proven experience in the activity in question or that meet the requirements of the programme, the specifications and the legislation in force.

The deadline for submission of bids is 30 March 2020, according to the Contest Programme.

Companies interested in participating in the competition must meet the following requirements:

1.] Realised equity of no less than US $ 25 million (Twenty Five Million US Dollars) equivalent.

2.] An average annual turnover of the last 3 fiscal years is not less than the equivalent of US$100 million.

3.] A net asset of not less than the equivalent of US$ 100 million.

4.] In the case of an association of companies, the requirements referred to in the previous paragraphs shall correspond to the respective indicators weighted by the respective participation of each company in the association.

5.] Competitor companies shall have, directly or through subsidiaries, a participation of not less than 25% in at least three port terminal concession operations in the last 3 years, and in at least one of these operations have a participation of not less than 50%, with an average annual amount of movement during the last 3 years not less than 250,000 TEUs.

The Port of Luanda Multi-purpose Terminal, is a port infrastructure dedicated to the simultaneous operation of general cargo and containers. It has a pier of 610 metres, a depth alongside of 12.5 metres and an area of 181,070 square metres with capacity for move 2.6 million tons per year.

Interested parties should access the link HERE

or email


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Opens Quality Service Centre in Port Louis

Port Louis harbour, Mauritius, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Port Louis harbour


German container shipping line Hapag-Lloyd says it intends developing and growing its presence in Africa and will look to help achieve this with a new Quality Service Centre (QSC) in Port Louis, Mauritius. Africa is seen as one of the line’s fastest growing markets.

Hapag-Lloyd’s QSC’s “gather four selected functions from…


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From the left are Captain Brynn Adamson (Harbour Master), Pilot Bernard Murphy and Rajesh Dana (Port Manager of the Port of PE) at the company’s long service awards celebration, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
From the left are Captain Brynn Adamson (Harbour Master), Pilot Bernard Murphy and Rajesh Dana (Port Manager of the Port of PE) at the company’s long service awards celebration


After four decades of harbour service, Port Elizabeth Pilot Bernard Murphy has come ashore.

Pilot Murphy joined the now Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) on 20 January 1973. As an Open Pilot License holder, Murphy has completed 3,224 vessel movements at the Port of PE and moved a total gross tonnage of 120,121,410 tons. He also piloted 205 vessels when the Port of Ngqura opened in 2009.

Pilot Murphy’s career started on the steam tug, FT Bates, as a deckhand – little did he know at the time what he had let himself in for. “In 1973 it was a little tough going, as the job demanded a lot of physical labour as there were no mechanical winches like today to assist with the recovery of working lines, which were very heavy wire cable,” he said.

Murphy progressed to work on various floating craft for a number of years. During this time he realised that maritime was his calling and started to study various grades within marine services. He obtained qualifications as Berthing Master, Coxswain, Signal Man and Pilot Boat Master.

“There were so many highlights in my career however, the ones closest to my heart include docking the Queen Mary 2 when she arrived in the Port of PE for the first time. Another was the docking of the MSC Beijing and the MSC Saturn with an overall length of 324m and a beam of 48m. I also happened to end up sailing both these vessels. There have definitely been challenges in my career, but nothing is impossible until it is done,” he said.

Captain Brynn Adamson, Harbour Master at the Port of PE said that Pilot Murphy’s dedication, not just to his job as a Pilot, but also to his fellow mariners has been evidenced by the number of colleagues he has selflessly trained and mentored over the years.

“He has produced GPRs, (General Purpose Ratings), a Pilot Boat Master, a Berthing Master, Tug Masters and Pilots. Some of these colleagues have further progressed to become Deputy Harbour Masters, Harbour Masters and Port Managers. He is a true ocean stalwart and we thank him for his service and wish him all the best as he enjoys his new life ashore.”

“The most difficult part about leaving TNPA and my marine family is having to say good bye to those that supported me and fueled my passion to be at sea. It is not that life ashore is distasteful to me, but life at sea is better,” Murphy said.

Pilot Bernard Murphy officially retired on 31 December 2019.


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We take a look at what the US Navy has been up to over the last week, with four examples of good works with allies and at home

A US Marine with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Africa 20.1, Marine Forces Europe and Africa, observes the French navy amphibious assault ship BPC Dixmude (L9015) in the Atlantic Ocean on 6 January. This training event tests an operational concept called Amphibious Maritime Basing and Interoperability, and will help streamline practices and procedures between US naval forces and the French, enhancing the French and American capability to respond rapidly and efficiently to potential future crises.
SPMAGTF-CR-AF is a rotational force deployed to conduct crisis-response and theatre-security operations in Europe and Africa. US Marine Corps photo by Corporal Kenny Gomez/Released. USN ©

On 6 January Lieutenant Aaron Van Driessche, a warfare tactics instructor at the Center for Surface Combat Systems (CSCS), Detachment San Diego, pilots the US Navy’s virtual combat curriculum with sailors assigned to the guided-missile destroyer USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60) inside the newly launched portable simulator, the On Demand Trainer. US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joseph Millar/Released. USN ©

OKINAWA, Japan. Steelworker Constructionman Marshall Lybarger, left, and Builder Constructionman Jeffrey Crabtree, deployed with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5, use the walk-behind saw to cut the sidewalk adjacent to the seawall. U.S. Navy Seabees are replacing sidewalks and repairing a seawall at Naval Base White Beach. NMCB-5 is deployed across the Indo-Pacific region conducting high-quality construction to support U.S. and partner nations to strengthen partnerships, deter aggression, and enable expeditionary logistics and naval power projection. (U.S. Navy photo by Equipment Operator Constructionman Brandon Blevins/Released)

Chief Musician Jennifer Krupa, from Hemet, Calif., works with students from Hoover High School in Hoover, Alabama on 8 January during the 11th Annual Jazz Education Network Conference in New Orleans.
The US Navy Band jazz ensemble Commodores presented clinics and performances at the conference, connecting with music students, educators and performers.  US Navy photo by Senior Chief Musician Adam Grimm/Released. USN ©

Collated by Paul Ridgway


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SAAF Oryx helicopter preparing to land on the FPSO being carried on board the Boskalis heavylift vessel Boka Vanguard, report carried in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
SAAF Oryx helicopter preparing to land on the FPSO being carried on board the Boskalis heavylift vessel Boka Vanguard.   Picture courtesy: NSRI


The recent report in Africa PORTS & SHIPS concerning a call to the SA Air Force, NSRI and other organisations to carry out an emergency medical evacuation of five seafarers on board a Boskalis heavylift vessel, which we had identified as the heavylift BOKA VANGUARD, has a sequel.

Click on the original report SA Air Force and NSRI called in for medical evacuation of five injured Brazilian seafarers

According to Boskalis, the heavylift Vanguard is carrying a FPSO (Floating Production Storage and Offloading) vessel, which is being transported on board the Boka Vanguard from China to Brazil.

On board the FPSO is a team of contractors, designated by the shipyard that built the FPSO, who are conducting preservation works on board the FPSO.

These works are part of the pre-delivery activities by the yard before the FPSO is delivered to the operator in Brazil later this month. During the voyage six persons employed by the contractor, all with Brazilian nationality, illegally consumed a cleaning liquid found on board of the FPSO.

This liquid is a substance customarily used for degreasing purposes, presumably containing a mixture of ethanol and the severely toxic methanol.

Approximately 36 hours after consuming the liquid, serious signs of illness became apparent, at which time the affected persons – six in all, reported the matter to the crew of the Vanguard.

Boskalis says that swift and immediate action was taken by the heavylift’s crew. The Vanguard changed course towards the coast of South Africa and a medical evacuation by helicopter was requested and organised – see link above.

“Regrettably one of the affected individuals passed away before the medical assistance was on site. The remaining five persons were successfully evacuated, hospitalised in Durban, South Africa and are successfully recovering from the intoxication.”

Boskalis says it has a strict zero tolerance policy with regard to alcohol on its offshore vessels. The company expressed its deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of the deceased person.

Once the medical evacuation of the five contractors had been completed the FPSO and Vanguard resumed their journey to Brazil.


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Sailors from the Ticonderoga class guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf man the rails as the ship comes alongside to conclude deployment. US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joshua D Sheppard. USN © featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Sailors from the Ticonderoga class guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf man the rails as the ship comes alongside to conclude deployment. US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joshua D Sheppard. USN ©


According to the US Navy in Norfolk, Virginia, the Ticonderoga class guided-missile cruiser USS LEYTE GULF (CG 55) returned to Norfolk Naval Station on 4 January marking the end of a nine-month deployment to the US 6th and 5th Fleet areas of operation.

Leyte Gulf deployed on 27 March from Norfolk as part of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 12 in support of maritime stability and security. Leyte Gulf performed critical air warfare responsibilities as part of the carrier strike group, operating across the…..

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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The SAAF 15 Squadron Oryx helicopter about to land on the Boskalis vessel Boka Vanguard, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The SAAF 15 Squadron Oryx helicopter about to land on the Boskalis vessel Boka Vanguard


Air and sea rescue units were called out at 09h30 yesterday morning when the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) tasked the SA Air Force (SAAF), the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) and Netcare 911 Ambulance services to assist with the medical evacuation of five injured Brazilian seafarers who had suffered injuries on board their Boskalis heavy lift vessel BOKA VANGUARD off the coast of eastern South Africa.

It appeared that the men had suffered injuries from an accident on board the vessel while at deep sea and that a sixth man had died as a result of his injuries. The master of the vessel had requested that the body of the deceased man remain onboard the ship.

With the vessel diverted from deep sea towards the port of Durban, Station 5 of the NSRI (Durban) was alerted as was 15 Squadron SAAF and Netcare 911. Meanwhile MRCC had arranged a Western Cape Government Health EMS duty doctor to provide medical advice to the ship’s medics.

In addition Telkom Maritime Radio Services assisted with communications.

A SAAF BK-117 helicopter, 15 Squadron, Charlie Flight, was tasked to respond to Durban from Port Elizabeth where Charlie Flight is based and a second SAAF helicopter, an Oryx, 15 Squadron, was made ready at Durban while the ship approached the coast.

At 16h42 the NSRI sea rescue craft Alick Rennie launched from the Durban Sea Rescue station, accompanied by a Netcare 911 rescue paramedic and an IPSS rescue paramedic, to go to the ship and stand-by on the scene.

At 17h30 the SAAF 15 Squadron Oryx helicopter, accompanied by two Netcare 911 rescue paramedics and an NSRI medic and the SAAF 15 Squadron, Charlie Flight, BK-117 helicopter, accompanied by two NSRI rescue swimmers, responded from Durban Air Force Base.

On arrival on scene, 28 nautical miles off-shore East of Durban, the SAAF Oryx helicopter landed on the ship’s helicopter pad, with the SAAF BK-117 helicopter and the sea rescue craft standing-by on the scene while Netcare 911 rescue paramedics and the NSRI medic took over care of the five patients from the ship’s medical crew.

The patients were then transferred into the Oryx helicopter where medical treatment continued as the five patients, one in a critical condition and four reported to be stable, were rapidly airlifted to a hospital in Durban.

It has since been confirmed that all five patients are in a stable condition as they recover in hospital.


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Port Louis – Indian Ocean gateway port

Ports & Ships publishes regularly updated SHIP MOVEMENT reports including ETAs for ports extending from West Africa to South Africa to East Africa and including Port Louis in Mauritius.

In the case of South Africa’s container ports of Durban, Ngqura, Ports Elizabeth and Cape Town links to container Stack Dates are also available.

You can access this information, including the list of ports covered, by going HERE remember to use your BACKSPACE to return to this page.

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QM2 in Cape Town. Picture by Ian Shiffman

We publish news about the cruise industry here in the general news section.

Naval News

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“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”
― Neil Gaiman – British writer & author




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